Top 15 Artefacts

…you can see at the new British Museum exhibition. As reviews go, the latest write-ups on the British Museum’s blockbuster exhibition haven’t been great.

Mark Hudson in the Daily Telegraph described the ‘baffling absences’ of star pieces from the museum’s own collections, suggesting that the ‘sociology of Vikingdom is well-served but not the visual culture.’ Jonathan Jones in the Guardian felt like he’d been ‘thrown straight into some thorny problems of archaeology… I felt like crying. Where were the swords?’ The Times followed suite with Rachel Campbell Jones’ point that she ‘felt like you need to be a detective to get the most out of this Nordic noir drama.’
Meanwhile, our own roving Viking correspondent (i.e. he’s a Viking, who’s also a correspondent) said ‘you’d have to be an archaeological philistine, or at least a Chief Art Critic, to roll up to an exhibition like this and decry the lack of shiny stuff.’ So as a public service to correct this waffle, here are 15 of our favourite finds (in addition to THE star find – Roskilde 6), that you can see in the new Vikings exhibition.
Did we miss your favourite find? Let us know in the comments box below…

1. Lewis Chessmen…

the berserkers, carved from Walrus ivory, these date to the late 12th century, and were found on Uig, Lewis, Scotland. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

2. Ear spoon…

with filigree terminal and suspension ring, 10th century. From Gedehaven, southwest Zealand, Denmark. © The National Museum of Denmark.

3. The Hiddensee Hoard…

comprising fourteen filigree pendants, spacers, brooch and neck-ring, probably made in Denmark in the late 10th century. From Neuendorf/Hiddensee, Rügen, Germany. © Jutta Grudziecki, Kulturhistorisches Museum der Hansestadt Stralsund.

4. A copper alloy pin…

with dragon’s head (16.2cm in length) dating to AD 950 – 1000, from Hedeby in modern Germany. © Wikinger Museum Haithabu.

5. The Vale of York hoard…

North Yorkshire, dating to AD 900s, comprising silver-gilt, gold, silver. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

6. Silver Penny…

of Anlaf Guthfrithsson of Northumbria (939–41). © The Trustees of the British Museum.

7. Silver-inlaid Iron/Brass axehead…

in the Mammen style, dating to AD 900s. from Bjerringhøj, Mammen, Jutland, Denmark. © The National Museum of Denmark.

8. Iron Staff…

from Gävle, Sweden, measuring 44.37cm. © The National Museum of Denmark.

9. Odin or völva figure…

(Silver with niello) dating to AD 800-1050, from Lejre, Zealand, Denmark.. © Ole Malling.

10. Gold Neck-ring…

dating to the 10th century AD, from Kalmergården, Tissø, Zealand, Denmark. © The National Museum of Denmark.

11. The Hunterston Brooch…

(12.2cm in diameter) a gold, silver and amber object dating to approximately AD 700, from Hunterston, Ayrshire, Scotland. © National Museums Scotland.

12. Copper alloy Brooch…

shaped like a ship, dating to AD 800-1050, from Tjørnehøj II, Fyn, Denmark.  Copper alloy. © The National Museum of Denmark.

13. The Valkyrie brooch…

a silver object dating to the 9th century AD, from Galgebakken, Vrejlev, Vendsyssel, Denmark. © The National Museum of Denmark.

14. Platter…

a wooden tray or platter with Scandinavian decoration, dating to the 10th century AD, from Berlin-Spandu, Berlin, Germany. © Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

15. Viking Sword…

late 8th–early 9th century AD from Kalundborg or Holbæk, Zealand, Denmark. © The National Museum of Denmark.

Want more Vikings? Check out ‘Friday Five… The Worst Vikings Ever’ …or our own review of  Vikings – Life and Legend

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Brendon Wilkins

Brendon Wilkins

Co-founder and Projects Director at DigVentures, Brendon heads up our field and post-ex team. Aside from field archaeology, his specialisms are cheese, tea and writing animatedly about himself in the third person.

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